Chievo Verona made a name for themselves in midweek when they beat early pace-setters and title hopefuls Napoli at the Stadio Bentegodi. On Sunday it was the turn of new leaders Genoa to come to town. The opposition may have been different, the outcome was just the same even if the performance wasn’t quite as polished.
Coming into the game, Coach Domenico Di Carlo was expected to name an unchanged side. Instead he opted to make one change, bringing back skipper Sergio Pellissier after he missed the Napoli game with a bruised foot. This meant that summer signing Alberto Paloschi dropped to the bench.
Pellissier partnered Frenchman Cyril Thereau in attack as he had done for the opening two games before succumbing to the injury in last weekends defeat at Parma. This meant that the back four remained as Sardo, Morero, Cesar and Jokic, with the midfield four being Bradley, Rigoni, Hetemaj and Cruzado. Paolo Sammarco had to be content with another role from the bench alongside Wednesday nights hero Davide Moscardelli.
Genoa on the other hand were without Giandomenico Mesto and Ze Eduardo. There was a real belief about Genoa that they could cement their place at the summit right from the off. Early chances for Cruzado of Chievo and Rodrigo Palacio of Genoa were met with some stout and desperate defending by both sides. Miguel Veloso was next to try his luck for Geno but Stefano Sorrentino was equal to it pushing his effort round the post for a corner.
Chievo (4-3-1-2): Sorrentino; Sardo, Morero, Cesar, Jokic; Bradley, L Rigoni (Sammarco 82), Hetemaj; Cruzado (Moscardelli 54); Pellissier, Thereau (Paloschi 64)
Genoa (4-3-3): S Frey; Bovo, Dainelli, Kaladze, Moretti; Kucka, Veloso, Constant; Jorquera (Seymour 56); Palacio (Granqvist 60), Caracciolo (Pratto 31)
Then Cruzado had an even better chance as Genoa failed to clear the ball and the Peruvian’s volley had Sebastian Frey at full stretch as it clipped the base of his post before rolling harmlessly behind. Sardo and Bradley were combining well down the Gialloblu right and the USA international put Sardo in behind the Genoa backline but his delicious low cross was missed by everyone as it fizzed across the face of goal.
They should of been ahead on the hour hour mark however as skipper Pellissier put Rigoni clean through but the midfield enforcer isn’t known for his prowess in front of goal and fired his shot too close to Frey allowing the Frenchman to deflect his effort away with his leg. Genoa went very close on the stroke of half-time as Lucas Pratto hit a snapshot on the turn on a quick counter attack but Sorrentino was equal to it.
Genoa took the lead right at the start of the second half when Jorquera threaded the ball through for Palacio, he held of the challenge of Sardo before beating Sorrentino with an angled drive.
Chievo should have been level just after the hour mark when Pellissier was sent through, he got in front of Dario Dainelli who clipped his heels in the box as he prepared to shoot.As the last man he left the ref no option but to show him a straight red even though it seemed harsh. Pellissier dusted himself off and took the spot kick himself, but Frey guessed right and flung himself across his goal to turn the ball behind.
Genoa had to change tactics and sit deeper to try to hang onto what they had, inviting pressure from the Gialloblu, but they should have extended their lead when they caught their hosts out on the break. Pratto forced Sorrentinoto save with his feet. Then Chievo hauled themselves level and it was Pellissier who earnt his 97th goal in a Gialloblu shirt. The skipper got up highest to a Bradley centre following a corner and thumped his header home.
It was one way traffic by this point as the hosts looked for a winner but time and again Frey was equal to them Di Carlo had also thrown on both Alberto Paloschi and Davide Moscardelli to force a way through. Both teams went down to ten men for the final five minutes however when Pellissier was forced off with cramp having used all three substitutes.
They finally made the breakthrough once more in stoppage time and again Moscardelli was the hero.Bradley linked up again with Sardo and the right-backs cross was met by a diving header from the substitute to break Genoa hearts and seal another three points.
The result continues Chievo’s fine home form and moves them upto an impressive sixth place. Next up is a different kind of challenge as they travel to bottom side Cesena looking for their first away win of the season. Chievo don’t generally travel well so the omens aren’t great.
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